My first trip abroad was when I was 16 years old. A group of about 20 high schoolers plus chaperones spent a week in France and Spain and I got my first taste of what Europe was like. I also learned how important it was to have sturdy luggage when you’re constantly carting your suitcase up and down city streets and in and out of hotel rooms and buses. That suitcase I had in my teens lasted for several years after that, but not all luggage is created equally. If you’re in need of some new luggage, I want to introduce you to a brand that makes sustainable suitcases, backpacks, and travel bags that will go the distance. They’re called Horizn Studios and Tom and I just got back from a 7-night trip where we put one of their suitcases to the test.
Horizn Studios review
First, what’s Horizn Studios?
Horizn Studios is an international smart travel brand that makes German-engineered luggage, backpacks, and travel bags in a sustainable way. They make products that cover everything from your daily commute to long-haul trips including carry-on luggage, larger checked suitcases, and more.
Launched in 2015, Horizn Studios was Europe’s first direct-to-consumer travel brand. Then in 2021, they took that commitment to sustainability even further when they launched Circle One, the world’s most sustainable luxury luggage. Their website explains that “the fully plant-based, biodegradable anomaly marries performance and sustainability as complementary concepts. Designed to be repaired, and never replaced, it will never see a landfill.” The brand also has carbon neutral shipping where they offset their carbon footprint.
It’s amazing to see luggage companies going in this direction. The truth is, being human means we’re going to hurt the environment. Travel in and of itself isn’t eco-friendly. Planes, and cars and cruise ships are not doing Mother Earth any favors. For me, it’s about balance and if we’re able to make better choices whenever we’re able to, that has to count for something. Horizn Studios is that better choice when it comes to travel.
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The Horizn Studios H7 suitcase
Let’s get into the Horizn Studios luggage specs. The suitcase we used on our 7-night trip was the H7 essential model, coming in at 90 liters in capacity and weighing 4.7 kg (10.3 lbs). Ours is the olive green color but it also comes in a variety of other fun colors which can help differentiate your suitcase from the sea of black bags on the luggage carousel.
The Horizn Studios lineup also comes in a smart model version, which features a smart charger (although not for the H7) as well as a compression pad that helps maximize space and a laundry bag.
The H7 is the perfect piece of checked luggage for a two-week trip (or one week if you’re sharing it with someone) and is Horizn Studios’ largest piece of luggage. The H7 opens up like two halves of an egg into two identical but separate compartments that have flexible mesh screens that zip closed.
It’s a hard case suitcase with a premium polycarbonate shell. The best part is that it’s partially recycled and is 100% vegan and produced in a way that’s 99% waste free. The H7 essential retails for 465€.
Another feature I love is that it spins! The suitcase has four 360° Japanese spinner wheels making it easy to wheel around a big suitcase like this and maneuver on a dime. You can push or pull it with ease using the multistage telescopic handle. It also has a TSA-approved lock.
Our experience using the Horizn Studios H7 suitcase
For our trip, Tom and I shared the suitcase and it was the perfect size for our one-week trip. When we were done packing, it weighed in at 24kg (52.9 lbs). Once we arrived and unpacked, the empty suitcase easily stowed away under the bed in our cruise cabin. It was easy to wheel around the airport and the suitcase is solid.
One thing I regret is not protecting the polycarbonate shell with a sleeve or wrap before checking it with the airline. Hard case luggage does tend to show the wear and tear of air travel more than soft shell luggage. The first time we used the suitcase on our way to Rome, baggage handlers had to unload all of the loaded luggage due to a passenger who had to be removed from the plane last minute. We saw them quickly and rather roughly tossing the suitcases onto the ramp and then putting them all back on the plane.
Our inaugural journey had rougher luggage handling than we expected, but despite the surface scratches, the H7 was a champ and nothing cracked or broke and the contents inside didn’t move an inch. But if you don’t want to take any chances, I definitely recommend getting some sort of protection for the shell. Lesson learned for next time!
Another thing to note is that there are no compartments, pockets, dividers, or pouches inside either half of the essential model. The suitcase zips open into two equal halves that zip closed with a mesh compartment so you can keep the contents of each side separate.
If you like partitions or separate areas for shoes, business clothes, or other items, the H7 doesn’t have any on the inside or outside. It’s an open space that you can use however you’d like. We didn’t use packing cubes and just folded our things and tucked toiletry cases into the remaining space, which worked out great. Keep in mind the smart model does have a compression pad and laundry bag.
I’ve found that sometimes pouches that some suitcases have can get in the way and create bulges that reduce your overall space and make packing less streamlined. This can be a plus or minus depending on your personal packing habits and type of trip.
There is also no expandable zipper to give you a few extra inches of space if your suitcase is overflowing. We had no issues closing it despite it being packed to the brim, though. This might be a nice feature for Horizn Studios to consider for future designs.
Once all closed up, the suitcase looks super high end and sleek. It’s minimalist without extra exterior zippers, pockets, or fluff. The solid handle lets you roll through the airport with ease. It’s a sexy piece of luggage, what can I say.
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Where to buy Horizn Studios luggage
Horizn Studios has a bunch of stores around Europe including London, Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, and more. You can also order online here. Orders over 90€ ship free within the EU and US shipping is free over $250. Be sure to grab my promo code at the end of my post!
Now onto some pros and cons of Horizn Studios luggage…
Sturdy, solid luggage. You can feel good buying Horizn Studios luggage because it’ll last a lifetime. The products are sturdy, high-quality pieces that look great too. We loved the simplicity of the compartments and zippers and the color options. With a capacity of 90 liters, the H7 has tons of space for all of your things.
Sustainably made. I love that Horizn Studios prioritizes the use of recycled materials, that the luggage is vegan, and produced in a way that’s 99% waste free. Travel isn’t sustainable but we can make an environmentally friendly choice when it comes to the luggage we use.
Spinner wheels make it a breeze to wheel around. I will never go back to suitcases without spinner wheels. They make maneuvering through the airport with a heavy suitcase a piece of cake. Push or pull it with ease!
Can get scratched. One of the biggest cons of polycarbonate hard shell luggage in general is that it can get scratched up during air travel and our Horizn Studios suitcase was no exception. This is particularly noticeable on light-colored luggage and particularly rough handling. There’s an easy fix, though. I highly recommend buying a suitcase sleeve like this one that slips over the polycarbonate shell and protects it from the wear and tear that sometimes comes with checking a bag.
The SoFo Rolltop Backpack
Let me show you the other item Horizn Studios sent us, the vegan SoFo Rolltop Backpack. The recycled cotton canvas backpack expands up to 30 liters in capacity and is available in a bunch of fun colors. The backpack unrolls into the main compartment and the part against your back has a hidden zippered compartment for a laptop. It has a water resistant bottom and lining just in case it rains.
A stylish feature that’s way more interesting than a regular zipper is that it closes with a metal hook. If you like traditional zippered compartments, Horizn Studios has a bunch of other styles as well so there’s a backpack for every type of traveler. The SoFo Rolltop Backpack retails for 145€ and is the perfect medium-size backpack for a day trip or carry-on.
To conclude my Horizn Studios review, let’s get into the bottom line. The H7 is a quality piece of luggage that would be a welcome addition to your travel lineup. I think it’s a fantastic option for anyone looking for a large hard shell suitcase that they want to keep for years and years.
If you travel often and want to make an environmentally friendly investment, Horizn Studios‘ well-made luggage is absolutely worth it. They also have gorgeous carry-on suitcases, backpacks, and more for all your travel needs. Do yourself a favor and check them out!
To get you started, I have a Horizn Studios promo code for you. Get 20% off your purchase with promo code HSxOuiInFrance at checkout. Shop here!
How important is quality luggage to you when you travel?
Disclosure: This is a sponsored collaboration between Oui In France and Horizn Studios. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that support Oui In France.
PIN my Horizn Studios review:
Years ago (at least ten, maybe more) a frequent business traveler recommended Travelpro as a brand that airline pilots & crew favor. I forget the name of the edition because it has been so long since I bought them and they have held up so well, but they are fabric. They have a lifetime warranty I’ve never had to use. After throwing out many Timberland suitcases, which cost less than $100 but never lasted more than a year, I bought three Travelpro suitcases–a carry-on and two of the larger size. We travel back and forth to France each year, staying six months, so I need all of these!
The carry-on didn’t use to be a spinner, but as soon as they came out with one, I jumped on it, leaving the wheelie back in the States for local travel.
Honestly, your brand looks lovely, but I couldn’t afford it. I mention Travelpro for those who want a very sturdy suitcase at a lower price. (I have no connection with the company.)
Kameela Hays says
Thank you Diane for this review. Just five minute before I read it I was looking at this range. Very timely. I am due to replace my carry on luggage so think that I might consider Horizn but I also like the other pieces and the promo code is tempting. Kameela
Aussiie Jo says
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Thank you for this, Diane.